…A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 45% of Likely U.S. Voters would vote for their district’s Republican congressional candidate, while 36% would choose the Democrat instead. That gap is up three points from last week, when Republicans led 44% to 38%…
There has been some talk of late that Democrats – especially in the House – may be able to take advantage of a general public disgust with Congress to re-capture the House. This is within the realm of possibility, but it is not very likely. There are several hurdles Democrats would have to vault:
1. 2012 will be driven by Presidential politics. While “ticket splitting” is an old and honorable American political tactic, it still works out that the party most on the outs is heavily punished. For all the problems the House GOP has, they still aren’t “in charge”. Obama and the Democrats are. If people are upset with Obama, they will not in very large numbers choose some of his fellow Democrats down ballot.
2. The stark fact that America is a center-right nation makes it hard for a liberal party, like the Democrats, to gain traction except when they are completely out of power and the other side is loathed. 2006 and 2008 cannot possibly repeat themselves until a period of exclusive GOP power intervenes.
3. Re-districting will shore up GOPers and weaken Democrats. For the first time since the 1920 census, the GOP holds the majority of re-districting power in the United States. In 2012, for the first time since 1932 or so, the GOP will not be playing the political game on the field the Democrats made. Most people don’t fully realize what a change this will make…we’re just used to things as they were, and aren’t any longer. A lot of results in 2012 will surpise everyone except those with a strong sense of history and/or a good deal of number-crunching skill to see how the newly drawn districts will play.
4. At the end of the day, electing Democrats to the House means putting Nancy Pelosi back in the Speaker’s chair. I can’t imagine what set of mental breakdowns were required in Democrat ranks to make Pelosi the Minority Leader, but no greater gift was ever handed to the Congressional GOP. The woman is intensely disliked in the nation and GOPers will crawl on their knees over broken glass to ensure against a return of Pelosi. She’s also a failure – her “leadership” in returning the Democrats to Congressional power in 2006 was no more than pure, dumb luck in that the GOP was immensely unpopular and made every possible mistake a party can make – a ham sandwich would have won just as big in 2006. Pelosi’s skills as a leader were revealed in the way she entirely ruined the Congressional Democrat brand in just three years – she’s not the person to craft a winning message and campaign in a hostile political environment.
And this poll shows that, at bottom, the people are more willing to trust the GOP to manage things going forward than they are the Democrats. This doesn’t at all translate in to blank-check support for the GOP, but it does indicate that when people go in to the voting booth in 2012, they are far more likely to vote GOP than vote Democrat. With these sorts of numbers, the GOP would win 30 more House seats in 2012…and it would take a massive turn around in Democrat prospects just to hold on to what they’ve got. Sure, that can be done. Certainly, the GOP can massively screw up…but it would take two near-miracles for Democrats to regain the House, and I just don’t see that happening.